Luis Puenzo’s La historia oficial (The Official Story)
(1985), the second in this monthly season of Argentinian films
especially selected for the Cinema Museum by Adam Feinstein – who is
writing a book on the country’s cinema – won Latin America’s first-ever
Oscar for foreign-language film, and it is easy to see why. The central
theme of this potent and poignant movie is Argentinian society’s guilt
over its complicity, during the 1976-1983 dictatorship, with the
military’s so-called ‘dirty war’ against subversion. As many as 30,000
people were kidnapped and subsequently disappeared by the Army. The main
action of La historia official centres on the gradual
discovery by Alicia, a history teacher magnificently interpreted by
Norma Aleandro, that the daughter her high-ranking businessman husband,
Roberto (in an equally superb performance by Hector Alterio) had given
her is actually the child abducted from her parents (two subversives
killed during their imprisonment by the military regime. By turns
tender, brutal and heart-wrenchingly poignant, this outstanding film has
lost none of its power to touch and to shock audiences over the past
three decades. Luis Puenzo, who co-wrote the screenplay with Aida
Bortnik, directs with a marvellously assured hand and, aided and abetted
by one of Argentina’s greatest cinematographers, Félix Monti, creates
many moments that live long in the memory.
La historia oficial will be introduced by Adam Feinstein, who has interviewed the film’s director, Luis Puenzo.
Doors open at 18.30, for a 19.30 start.
Refreshments will be available in our licensed cafe/bar.